as told by Yutonya (mother)–
What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
Kennedy is six years old and loves, loves, loves singing. She sings in the morning, afternoon and evening. She hums in the car and has started asking for singing lessons. She loves her curly hair, but every once in a while wants to see what it would look like straightened, which it has never been. I attempted to straighten it one time with an In-Styler type tool and, ¼ way through, decided that I didn’t want to straighten it. I washed her hair and put it in a bun. I would like to say it was out of some purist ideal, but, truthfully, I think I looked at how much hair she had and saw the hours of pulling hair through that flat-iron and opted out.
How do you care for her/his hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
I co-wash her hair about once a week. I usually do this whenever we change hair styles. I shampoo about once a month. I detangle using my fingers and sometimes lightly brush the ends while there is conditioner in it if the ends get tangled. However, because she wears mostly protective styles, I find that I usually don’t have to detangle too much or use the brush. I have recently begun using olive oil overnight as a pre-poo treatment, only because she can now stand having her hair wrapped for the entire night. I use all Carol’s Daughter products on her hair. We have just started using the Monoi sulfate-free shampoo and Hair Mask from CD. Daily, we use the lite Hair Milk and the Hair Balm. The Hair Balm is a little thicker than the Hair Elixir, which is a very light liquid oil. Although heavier, we switched to the Hair Balm because the Elixir has a strong spearmint/woodsy smell and she would get so many comments in class that she smelled like tree or grass (in a good way) that I decided to switch. The two are very comparable with the same base ingredient of sweet almond oil. Lisa’s Elixir is definitely fragrant as are most of the CD products.
Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
Actually no. I have sisterlocks, which means I utilize very little products. But the question is interesting because, for the last year, my daughter has been asking me to take out the locks because she wants to see my hair. She can not recall what my hair looked like before the locks. I tell her that it basically looked the same. However, I wanted to go back to my natural hair as well. So, for the past two months I have actually been growing out my sisterlocks. As my locks are considered microlocks, I have just been growing them out and using braid outs to disguise the transition from the sisterlocks to natural. So far so good. Maybe for the next GOC I will post my pictures showing me growing out the sisterlocks. It is an interesting process.
But, back to the question, no we do not use the same products, but maybe soon. I primarily use Carol’s Daughter on Kennedy’s hair. I have managed to control my PJism and found that Carols’ Daughter’s products, although a bit costly, have all of the ingredients that I could possibly combine, mix, create or buy on my own or find in other products. I just find it easier to order online and try different products within that line. I save my adventurist side for trying new styles on her hair vs. trying new hair products. Her hair seems to respond well to CD products, so I stick with them, even when my bank account cries foul. Now, once I grow out my sisterlocks, my PJism will probably return full force, because I will personally want to try out every product under the sun on my newly free hair.
What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
I predominantly employ protective styles. Kennedy basically only wears her hair fully out on special occasions, birthdays, etc. For school, protective styles last longer and withstand the rigor of elementary school. The two styles I always fall back on are the bun and my favorite, the single flat twist with bun. Once the bun is in place I always put a decorative bow or clip to match her outfit and also ensure that it doesn’t look so adult.
Kennedy loves wearing hair clips like her Aunt Shelli. Yes, Aunt Shelli of Hairscapades. Aunt Shelli’s October post on silk bonnets convinced her that it was okay to sleep with her pink silk bonnet to protect her head, and she does not complain when we put it on before bed. And she still asks for the two strand twists that Aunt Shelli put in her head during their sleepover. I think she has found her hair idol.
What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
None really, because I truly like trying new hairstyles and accessories. She definitely also enjoys new hairstyles as well and has requested the Princess Leia on occasion or other hairstyles specifically. I would say the biggest issue is the distraction that the highly fragrant CD products caused her class. It was probably the combination of the hair products and the body products as we use those as well. LOL!
Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your daughter’s hair? Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
I have never relaxed my daughter’s hair and express to her daily that she should appreciate and love the fact that she has beautiful curls. I also instill the same self-love in my son who says he loves his curls. I hope this will be enough to ensure that she does not relax her hair, but if she does, I can relate. Hair does not define all of who we are or will be and I myself have tried every hairstyle in the world from relaxed hair many years ago, braids, natural and now sisterlocks. And for the next GOC, I will go back to natural. Sometimes curiosity does not mean a lack of self-love, it is simply that, curiosity. I know many natural women who went natural simply out of curiosity and nothing more. I hear many also say they did it just because they didn’t want to go to the salon. All reasons are valid, real and worthy. So, would I prefer that she never relax her hair? Absolutely. But, if she does, I can totally understand it. I have scratched the curiosity itch many times and always came back to natural.
Anything else that you’d like to add?
We love Aunt Shelli and Uncle Weusi!